The “Snake Pit” as it was known in the 90s has always been a fun event to attend, as fans will get to see the best wrestlers from the Southern Section battling each other for the opportunity to punch their ticket to the CIF state tournament. In this article, we will look at five potential second-round matches that could occur on Friday afternoon at Sonora High.
Adrian Limon (Northview) vs. Maximus Martinez (St. John Bosco)
This matchup will pit the # 11 and # 19 wrestlers in California going at it in the second round. Limon finished second in the Inland Division after losing via a fall to # 4 Richard Castro – Sandoval (Santa Ynez) in the third period. Prior to going down to Castro, Limon defeated state place winner Fernando Barreto (Rowland) 3-1. Top freshman Martinez is coming off from winning the Central Division by defeating league rival Zack Stone (Orange Lutheran) via a fall in the first period. Martinez was second at the Five Counties tournament at 113 and I thought for sure he would’ve stayed at that weight.
Nicco Ruiz (St. John Bosco) vs. Sean Yamasaki (Dos Pueblos)
Unsure if he was going to compete at 126 or 132, Ruiz competed for most of the season at 152-pounds where he defeated various state rank opponents. Now at his natural weight, Ruiz won the Central Division by defeating league rival Marcus Medina (Servite) 7-0 and pinning all four prior opponents. Yamasaki made waves early on the season when he defeated three-time state place winner Justin Mouritsen (Clovis) at the Newbury Park tournament. Yamasaki competed in the tough Inland Division where it had the # 7 and # 9 wrestlers. He lost in the semifinal round but was able to finish back and place third.
Marcus Medina (Servite) vs. Cameron Owen (Paloma Valley)
Another top 20 matchup that should happen should be between Marcus Medina (Servite) and Cameron Owen (Paloma Valley). Medina was second at the Central Division after losing to Nicco Ruiz (St. Joh Bosco) in the finals. During the season he was third at 5 Counties where he defeated the then No. 1 ranked wrestler in California Wayne Joint (Lemoore) 4-0. Owen is a transfer from Temecula Valley that placed second at the Eastern Division for Paloma Valley. He is a tough individual that has twice advanced to masters in previous seasons.
Tyler Okada (Servite) vs. Brandon Bollinger (Sultana)
This matchup pits two top 20 guys ranked in California. Both were competing at 145-pounds early on the season but decided to move up a weight class. Bollinger had a great regular season that saw him place fourth at Battle for the Belt by pinning 2018 state place winner Noah Cortez (Dinuba) in 55 seconds. He was a Mojave River League and most recently won his second Eastern Division Championship. Okada competes at the tough Trinity league where he was second at the league tournament and the Central Division where he finished as the runner-up to the No. 2 ranked guy in California Sonny Santiago (St. John Bosco). During the regular season, he was seventh at Zinkin and second at Morro Bay CIT.
Trent Houle (Capistrano Valley) vs. Nico Noriega (Palm Desert)
No. 10 Trent Houle (Capistrano Valley) is coming off from winning the Coast View league and a Coastal Division Championship. He is a former California state qualifier as he was sixth last year at 145-pounds. Houle was third at the Zinkin Classic and fifth at 5 Counties. Noriega comes out of a tough program in Palm Desert High. He was a Desert Empire league champion and was third at the Central Division after losing in the semifinal round to Okada via a fall. During the regular season, Noriega won the Citrus Hill Hawks Nest and was third at both Carter Invite and the Raul Huerta Invitational.